Podcast

Episode 113 • Favors

113-favors

Do someone a solid

Owe someone

Return a favor

Beg

Pretty please with a cherry on top

Story

Sam: Hey, man. Listen, I need you to do me a solid.
Mike: Uhm, okay, what do you need? Is it money? I can lend you some money.
Sam: No, it’s got nothing to do with money. I need you [clears throat]. I need you to break up with Angela for me.
Mike: What?! Why would I do that? She’s your girlfriend! No, no way. I’m not doing this to her.
Sam: Hey, dude. You owe me and you know that. Remember when your mom called me looking for you and you were out with Lucy, mh? Have you forgotten about that, uh? Well, now I need you to return the favor.
Mike: Seriously? That’s how you’re going to convince me. By telling me I have no other options?
Sam: Oh come on dude… I’m begging you. Just this one time.
Mike: I don’t know, Sam…
Sam: Pretty please with a cherry on top.
Mike: Ugh. Fine. Just this once. I’m not doing this ever again.
Sam: Alright, fine. Yeah, that’s cool.
[Phone ringing]
Mike: Hello, Angela? Hi, It’s Luke, so I, uhm, I don’t really know how to say this but Sam said-
Angela: [Gibberish]
Mike: Uh uh.
Angela: [Gibberish]
Mike: Oh, okay. Uhm, yeah. I guess I’ll tell him.
Angela: [Gibberish]
Mike: Alright, yeah, you too, bye.
Sam: What did she say? Why didn’t you say anything?
Mike: She said she wants to break up with you…

Questions

Oh oh, I did not see that one coming.

Do someone a solid

'I need you to do me a solid.'

• If you need someone to do you a solid, what do you want them to do? To help you or to do something they’re forced to do?

If you need someone to do you a solid, that means you need them to help you. You want them to help you. A solid is basically another way of saying a favor.

• Is it a formal or informal expression?

It's definitely informal. Yes, it's the same as saying, "Do me a favor," but you would use that in an informal context or an informal situation. Don't tell your boss, "Hey, do me a solid." Although you probably wouldn't be asking your boss for a favor anyway you know what I'm saying.

• When was the last time you asked someone to do you a solid?

I think it was maybe a couple of weeks ago. My sister Lorena, she was coming to Valencia to visit me. I had just spoken to Marcos, to my boyfriend, and just in case you're new to the podcast, Marcos is Spanish, I'm Italian. Every now and then, I find out that he hasn't tried some of the famous Italian foods. I had recently found out that he had never tried Baci di Dama. If you don't know what they are, they're like little cookies filled with hazelnut cream. They're really, really good. Anyway, I wanted him to try them, but I couldn't find them anywhere here in Spain. I called my sister and I told her, "Hey, can you do me a solid? I need you to bring Baci di Dama when you come here." She did, and poor Marco's only saw half of them because I ate the other half. No, I'm just kidding. A little less but I did eat a few myself.

Owe someone

'You owe me and you know that.'

• If someone owes you, does that mean you did them a favor in the past or that they did you a favor in the past?

If someone owes you, that means that you did them a favor in the past.

• If someone owes you, does that mean you expect them to do you a favor since you helped them in the past or you don’t care if they do?

Yes, you do care. If you tell someone, "Hey, you owe me." That means that you expect them to do you a favor because you did them a favor in the past, so now you're telling them, "I did you a favor, now it's your turn to do me a favor. You owe me, you have to do this thing for me." It's not the nicest thing to do or say, but some people do think this way. Some people, when they do a favor, they expect you to do something for them later on.

• Have you ever told someone they owed you?

Absolutely not. I hate this concept. I think it's a terrible thing to say. I would never want someone to do something for me that they don't want to do. I would never make someone feel forced to do something by telling them that they owe me. If I really want them to do something, I might say, "Please, come on, I really need this." But I would never tell them, "You owe me," because I feel like that's really, I don't know, it takes the pleasure out of doing favors because the nice thing about favors is that you don't expect anything in return. If I start saying, "You owe me," that means that every time I do you a favor, I'm going to owe you in the future. I just think it's a terrible thing. No, I've never said that to somebody.

Return a favor

'Well, now I need you to return the favor.'

• When would you return the favor? After someone helped you or after you helped them?

You would return a favor after someone helped you. They helped you, now you want to do something for them to thank them and show them gratitude, so you would return the favor. It doesn't necessarily have to be the same favor. Say, you just lent me a sweater. I can, for example, I don't know, walk your dog, whatever. It just means you did something good for me, I'm going to do something good for you as well. That's what returning the favor is.

• Did you ever do something for someone because you felt like you needed to return the favor?

Yes. A few weeks ago, I was back at home and I needed to get a copy of my ID, and my aunt knows some people that work in that department. That sounds really sketchy. I'm making it sound like my aunt is in the mafia, she's not. She just has a lot of connections. Anyway, she wanted to help me, so she came with me, and she didn't help me all that much in the end. I could have done it by myself, but she took the time to be there with me. I definitely felt like I had to return the favor, and a few days later, she said that a friend of hers needed help with her English, and so I was like, "Well, I feel like I owe her." I know it's not the best mentality, but that's what I felt. I decided to return the favor and help out her friend.

Beg

'I’m begging you. Just this one time.'

Do you know this song? I bet you do. It's by the band Måneskin, and they're from Italy. I'm really proud. It's probably one of the few times where it's happened that someone from Italy, an artist, has been recognized worldwide. Anyway, this has nothing to do with this, except for the fact that one of their song's titled Begging.

• When do you beg someone? When you want something from them or when they want something from you?

You beg someone because you want something from them. You want it desperately.

• If you beg someone, do you ask them to do something in a calm way or in an urgent and anxious way?

If you beg someone, you ask them to do something or to give you something in a very urgent and anxious way.

• Listen to these two people, who is begging someone and who is simply asking for a favor? Mom, could you give me $20 to go to the movies? Mom, can you please give me $20 so I can go to the movies? Please, please, come on mom, everybody else is going.

It's definitely the second kid, the one that's asking for this money in a very urgent way. They're being very insistent. That is what begging is like. You can even say, "I'm begging you." You can also beg without using the word beg, if that makes sense.

• Have you ever begged someone to do something for you?

I mean, as an adult, I don't really think so, but when I was a kid, oh boy, I used to beg my mum all the time, especially when I wanted a toy. I remember this one toy specifically. It was a little robot. It was a toy. It wasn't a real robot, and its name was Emilio. If you were from Italy and you were born in the '80s/'90s, you know what I'm talking about. I was obsessed with this little robot, and every time for Christmas, for my birthday, I would beg my mum to get one for me, and she never did. To this day, I don't know what it feels like to live with a robot that brings you your slippers. I'm being overdramatic, but seriously, I begged my mom so much to get this toy for me, and she never did.

Pretty please with a cherry on top.

'Pretty please with a cherry on top.'

• When would you use the expression "pretty please with a cherry on top"? When you think the other person is going to give you what you want or when you think they won’t?

You use the expression pretty please with a cherry on top when you think the other person is not going to give you what you want, and so you need to convince them. It's basically after begging someone for so long, you play this last card that you have. You put on the cutest face that you possibly can, the big eyes, the cutely little pout, and then you tell them, "Pretty please with a cherry on top," and that basically makes it really hard for people to resist. It's going to be almost impossible to say no to something.

• Is "pretty please with a cherry on top" something that’s usually said by kids or by adults?

It's definitely something that's said by kids. I mean, even adults can use this expression, but it's a joke, but no, it's usually kids.

• Is the expression "pretty please with a cherry on top" usually used the first time you’re asking for something or after multiple times you’ve asked for something?

I feel like I've already answered this, but basically, you would use this expression after you've already begged someone, maybe you've gotten on your knees, and you're just like, "Okay, this is my last chance. I'm going to try one more time," and then you put on the cutest face with your cutest voice, you say, "Pretty please with a cherry on top." The voice is really important, you guys, because that's what might make the difference, so yes, and then you see what happens. Now you know. Next time somebody doesn't want to do what you want them to do, then you know what to say.

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